Dr. Manher Jariwala
The Learning Assistant Model as a Catalyst for Institutional Change and Instructional Improvement
Learning Assistants (LAs) are undergraduate students who, through the guidance of course instructors and a pedagogy course, facilitate discussions among groups of students in a variety of classroom settings that encourage active engagement. We will present an overview of the Learning Assistant model and describe the details of its implementation and transformative impact at Boston University. We will also discuss the expansion of the LA program within our Physics department and to multiple other departments across campus, as well as the growth and success of LA programs worldwide, leading to the formation of the International Learning Assistant Alliance. Tools developed by the Alliance for supporting faculty and programs will be demonstrated, and data to support claims about the effectiveness of the model for student learning will also be examined.